Improvised recordings from a two day open workshop at The Rea Garden
and The Lombard Method
, both in Digbeth, Birmingham, UK, in August 2010.
Attendees and contributors were: a.a.s., Andy Ingamells, Antonio (hellocatfood), Dallas Simpson, Graham Dunning, Leon Trimble, Mr.Underwood, Rachel M. Haines and Sarah Farmer. (Click here
for links to artist's sites.)
Open Sound Group
is a project established and run by sound and visual artist Graham Dunning
, comprising a series of events and a netlabel.
On Friday 20th August 2010, participants were invited to visit The Rea Garden artists’ project space to collect field recordings, sound objects or ideas; to explore and get a feel for the site; and to talk to Graham about his work on the residency there. The site itself is a former industrial unit which was derelict for 20 years following a fire. As such it contains a wealth of interesting objects and scrap, including pieces of broken shellac from its former use as a record warehouse.
The workshop took place on Saturday 21st August in the project space at The Lombard Method (known as “The Fire Room”). The session was informal and exploratory with no specific deadlines or rigidly defined outcomes. Participants were invited to bring instruments, sound making equipment, field recordings, effects processors, objects, etc. The workshop was open to any artists working with sound and improvising experimental musicians based near (or with connections to) Birmingham.
The starting point for the workshop was a brief discussion about the Rea Garden and any ideas which had arisen from the site visit. The day then saw people sharing ideas and processes, talking about their work and demonstrating their equipment, leading to an exploration of how different sounds can work together or in contrast; how different processes can be connected; and ways of collaborating in a performance setting.
Participants were encouraged to take part in live recordings, improvisations and performances which are documented here. Different combinations of instruments were explored; small groups and large ensembles; artists remixing or otherwise manipulating others’ sounds; experiments with new or untested techniques.
Full ensemble improvisation: a.a.s. (4 members), Antonio Roberts, Leon Trimble, Rachel M. Haines, Sarah Farmer, Dallas Simpson, Andy Ingamells, Sam Underwood, Graham Dunning. Instrumentation includes: tone generators, tape players, walkie-talkies, clarinet, vocoder, bass guitar, laptop, bowed spades, gramophone player and objects from The Rea Garden.
Open improvisation focusing on harsher sounding instruments between a.a.s., Antonio Roberts, Sam Underwood, Rachel M. Haines: Noiseboxes, feedback, tone generators, AM/FM radio, circuit bends, tape machines.
Open improvisation with rhythmical sound makers from Sarah Farmer, Leon Trimble and Graham Dunning: Turntables and modified records, laptop with field recordings, gramophone player with contact mics, loop pedal and objects from The Rea Garden, microphone bringing in environmental sound from outside the space.
All attendees performing to a score by Andy Ingamells: Ink marked pages left in the rain at The Rea Garden as a visual score for intensity of speech. Words from the site were read by each performer according to the score, moving around the room in turn.
Sarah Farmer, Leon Trimble, Graham Dunning and Dallas Simpson improvising to an audio score by Dallas Simpson. The score was a binaural recording of Dallas performing the site at The Rea Garden, played back to each performer through headphones.
As OSG01 Five
but including the original binaural score recording.
Tracks 1, 2 and 3 are compiled of room recordings with a Zoom H4 portable recorder and binaural recordings by Dallas Simpson. Tracks 4 and 5 were recorded with the Zoom H4.
Track 6 was recorded binaurally and mixed by Dallas Simpson. All other tracks were mixed by Graham Dunning.